UPDATE: Hood Jr. High Clean-Up Efforts Continue

UPDATE: Hood Jr. High Clean-Up Efforts Continue

The approximate cost of the cleanup effort is now around $745,000.
UPDATE From ECISD: There is still no exact time table for re-opening John B. Hood JH after the mercury incident on March 18. The cleanup of the school is moving forward, and school district officials are hopeful students and staff can return by the end of this week. As of Monday afternoon one locker room and the showers, an office, and the school’s main hallways must still be cleaned and cleared for traffic.
The process has reached a point where it not necessary to have multiple consultants at work – only the original company, Allied International, remains on site – nor is it useful to continue the work 24 hours a day.
The approximate cost of the cleanup effort is now around $745,000.

UPDATE From ECISD: TEA offers time to John B. Hood students This afternoon the Texas Education Agency notified ECISD officials that students at John B. Hood Junior will not have to take STAAR exams next week with the rest of the state. Because of the mercury exposure at the school and the fact the kids have been displaced to another campus without their regular materials for more than a week, JBH students will take the state exams the following week on April 7, 8, and 9. The school district is very appreciative that TEA would consider the unique circumstances of the school and give students every chance to return to their home campus before taking STAAR tests.

Odessa, TX (Big 2 News) – Five different groups of contractors, with a total of fifty people working twenty-four hours a day to clean up one hundred and thirty-seven thousand square feet inside Hood Junior High.

"Contractors have been in the school cleaning the floors, heating the school up and venting the mercury vapors out of there,” said Mike McAteer.

After a student brought a water bottle with about an ounce of Mercury to school last Tuesday.

School administrators say sixty people were exposed to the chemical element, and it was tracked through the school.

Initially, officials thought Hood would be back open on Monday, but high levels of Mercury continue to be found on the crews’ shoes.

Mike McAteer, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is one of the federal on-scene coordinators.

He tells me the levels of contamination are so high, desks and textbooks have been removed from certain classrooms.

"Now we're at a point where we are removing some of the flooring in the cafeteria,” said McAteer.

As for the future of Hood Junior High?

"We're still assessing other parts of the school to see if we have to do more clean up,” said McAteer.

McAteer tells me, that the assessment will take a few more days.

He also mentioned it’s a slow process and crews want to make sure every inch of the school is cleaned and ready to go.

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